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The Undefeated

The Undefeated

Picture Book - 2019
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"The Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree. Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston : Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781328780966
Branch Call Number: AWARD ALEXANDER
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 x 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Nelson, Kadir - Illustrator


From Library Staff

List - Dia 2021 Grades 3-5
SAPL_EarlyLit Apr 12, 2021

This winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal is an ode to black American triumph and tribulation

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Amanda_HT Jan 25, 2021

This lyrical picture book is like a poetic compellation of biographies of both every-day heroes and celebrities from American history. Though it focuses on Black History in the United States, it is so beautifully written and illustrated that it would be a great book to use to discuss Black History in any nation. Recommended for ages 4 yrs and up.

Nov 24, 2020


Jul 30, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this book to my son. The wording is great and the pictures are amazing. It was easy to show my 5 year old and explain who people are and what it the poem was discussing.

Feb 12, 2020

Every once in a while a book comes along that outshines the possible star ratings. This is one of them for me.

I am moved to tears each time I read it, to myself or aloud to children. Much deserving of the awards.

JCLBeckyC Feb 05, 2020

This magnificently illustrated poem accomplishes the goal author Kwame Alexander states in the afterward: "To truly know who we are as a country, we have to accept and embrace all of our woes and wonders." Be sure to spend some time reading about the "historical figures and events featured in The Undefeated" at the back of the book.

Feb 01, 2020

Amazing picture book which spotlights the life and accomplishments of many African-Americans. Topics covered are slavery, the civil rights movements and black heroes such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and others. Very deserving of the Caldecott Medal which it has won.

Jan 07, 2020

Inspiring poem with gorgeous illustrations. This is on the list for the Kansas City Mock Newbery and is most certainly a noteworthy book. Includes brief snippets on many of the historical figures and events pictured throughout.

JCLBetM Nov 30, 2019

A raw, rich poem, beautifully illustrated, that requires you to slow down and sit with these historic faces and their stories, acknowledging and applauding their efforts.

IndyPL_JosephL Aug 11, 2019

A beautiful and powerful poetic anthem to Afro-American strength, the struggles that have been overcome, and the hope for an even better future. Kadir Nelson's gorgeous images perfectly match the highs and lows of Kwame Alexander's dynamic poem.

DPLjosie Apr 29, 2019

Amazing. Beautiful. Powerful. This is art at its most impactful.

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Mar 29, 2021

edwa345 thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over


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JCLBeckyC Feb 05, 2020

"I wanted to establish from the very beginning that much of what I'm talking about in this poem, so much of American history, has been forgotten, left out of the textbooks, and that to truly know who we are as a country, we have to accept and embrace all of our woes and wonders." --author Kwame Alexander


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